October 11, 2009 |

If you want a seat at the table, you’d better bring your chips

If you want a seat at the table, you'd better bring your chips

If you want a seat at the table, you'd better bring your chips

Agribusiness in general and the feed and grain industry in particular are no strangers to high-stakes gambling.

An industry that routinely deals with the vagaries of weather and the whims of a fickle public for its livellihood is well prepared for just about anything. That is, maybe, until now.

In this issue we cover the potential impact pending climate change/cap-and-trade and food/feed safety legislation could have on our industry. While we await further action by the Senate and Congress on both efforts, we clearly see this administration will be active in ag policy.

It remains to be seen how this increased engagement manifests itself in our day-to-day operations; however, the scary part, as I see it, will be if the game is ruled by agenda rather than aptitude.

For example, at last month's NGFA Board of Directors meeting, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack laid out the department's "Know your Farmer, Know your Food," initiative, and its stated goal to "reconnect" consumers to where there food comes from. While it is unclear to me where the masses have articulated their "disconnect" with our food supply universally recognized as consistently the most plentiful, safest and most thoroughly tested and inspected one would have to be blind not to see the ramifications for commercial agriculture.

Hopefully, those who actually provide the world with food and feed products will be afforded the opportunity to have an equal share of voice with policy makers.

Realistically, with huge battles looming over healthcare reform and operating budget requests, lawmakers will have their hands full, most likely until early 2010. That is why you should contact NGFA and AFIA, in addition to local agribusiness groups and let them know where you stand. NGFA upped the ante, making it easier to join their organization by cutting dues 10%.

Become actively informed on how these issues affect your business and, if you truly like high-stakes poker, when visiting with your elected officials, gently remind them that your ace-in-the-hole card may just be played in next year's mid-term elections. But whatever you decide to do, you had better be prepared to go all in in order to be fairly represented.

Now, who wants to gamble!

More Articles

Tracking Ingredient Activity to Empower Business Decisions

Tracking Ingredient Activity to Empower Business Decisions

March 25, 2015 | Focus On |

With the establishment of its Information Technology Innovation Award, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), in partnership with AgGateway and Feed & Grain magazine, recognizes leading feed and grain industry companies that incorporate new, advanced technologies in their routine business practices to help meet the demand of a rapidly developing world population. 

[Read More]
Applying  Exceptional  Customer Service to Feed and  Grain Businesses

Applying Exceptional Customer Service to Feed and Grain Businesses

March 19, 2015 | DepartmentsManager's Notebook | Dr John Foltz

 Some folks may argue that superior customer service might be more important for retail stores, rather than a business like a grain elevator or feed mill. But it can make a difference in the competitive feed and grain industry — for the very reason that it is competitive. You do have competitors, and attracting and keeping more business is a desirable strategy.

[Read More]
A New Benchmark for Grain Elevators

A New Benchmark for Grain Elevators

March 10, 2015 | Cover Story | Steven Kilger

Though known for its inclement weather and dairy production, according to the USDA’s Crop Production Summary for 2013, Wisconsin was ninth in corn production and 15th in soybean production, despite having a wet harvest season. Looking at what the members of Landmark Services Cooperative needed now, and looking forward to what they will need in the future, the co-op built a new grain facility in Fall River, WI, to give them plenty of speed, space and markets — everything a farmer needs to grow.... [Read More]